Drawing and painting are among the defining characteristics of the human species. They are also among the first forms of expression too.
Learning to draw is one of my best childhood memories. Those moments when you start your first steps throughout unknown but exciting experiences. To get knowledge, and discover new things.
“Drawing used to be a civilized thing to do, like reading and writing. It was taught in elementary schools. It was democratic. It was a boon to happiness.”
Moreover, Creative activities like drawing help us escape the monotony of our everyday life. Many therapists highlight the importance of having at least one creative project to help liberate your artistic inspiration and to tap into your hidden artistic abilities.
“I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.”
Vincent van Gogh
Learning to master a skill like drawing can be challenging at the beginning, but achievable. Yet, the best way to learn a new skill as well as finding your own artistic style is by practice and repetition.
“In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt.”
Many information and books on traditional and digital drawing methods are available to guide you. But you should learn the traditional types of drawing and painting before starting digital methods.
I’ve done the tough work for you and found many of the best drawing books. Either you’re starting out to draw, or you’re a long-time artist seeking to refresh your skills, these excellent books will help you.
Check out those excellent books below.
1. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is one of the best how to draw books. Artist and author Betty Edwards proposes many drawing exercises to learn how to get better at drawing and theoretical knowledge about brain capabilities. The book was translated into more than 17 different languages.
Inside the book you’ll get:
- First Steps in Drawing
- Perceiving Spaces
- Drawing on our Childhood Artistry
- Perceiving Lights, Shadows, and the Gestalt
- And more …
2. Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by Mark and Mary Willenbrink
If you want to master the skill of drawing in a realistic style, this inspiring book is what you need.
Authors Mark and Mary Willenbrink show you how to choose materials and the right technique to use a pencil, how to use proportions and perspective, and many other skills, the right way.
- Holding the Pencil
- Structural Sketches
- Value Sketches
- Using Basic Shapes
- Light effects
- Plotting Shadows
- Understanding Linear
- Measuring Angles
3. How to Draw What You See by Rudy De Reyna
This timeless book by Rudy De Reyna has been a best-seller for over 35 years!
As introduced by the author, this book will teach you how to draw things as you see them in the real world. Generations of artists have learned to draw what they see, guided by this excellent book.
How to Draw What You See is one of the best books on drawing that will help you recognize the basic shape of objects and forms in nature and everywhere.
Inside you’ll find:
- Drawing Straight Lines
- Drawing Lines Freehand
- Holding the Pencil
- Judging Size RelationShips
- Basic Forms and Their Relationship
- Creating a Composition
- Composition and Construction
4. You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less
With Emmy award-winning, longtime PBS host Mark Kistler as your guide, you’ll learn the secrets of sophisticated three-dimensional renderings, and have fun along the way–in just 20 minutes a day for a month. Inside you’ll find:
- Quick and easy step-by-step instructions for drawing everything from simple spheres to apples, trees, buildings…
- Time-tested tips, techniques, and tutorials for drawing in 3-D
- The 9 Fundamental Laws of Drawing to create the illusion of depth in any drawing
- 75 student examples to help gauge your own progress
5. Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis
This classic drawing book is a reference to anatomy despite its age. There’s a ton a lot of info inside. You’ll learn how to draw portraits as well as hands, with solid drawing fundamentals.
You’ll understand the principles behind drawing realistic portraits.
Andrew Loomis’ clever method, will help you master the skill of drawing realistic portraits.
6. Drawing People by Barbara Bradley
In Drawing People, award-winning illustrator and instructor Barbara Bradley provide all the information you need to render clothed human figures with energy, detail, and control.
If you’re looking for the best figure drawing books, Drawing People will teache you very practical basics of any drawing, including proportion, perspective, and value.
Inside you’ll discover:
- Drawing from a model
- Drawing in a Sketchbook
- Drawing in Your Studio
- Proportion and Perspective
- Value-Rhythm and Continuity
7. Draw 50 Animals: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Elephants, Tigers, Dogs, Fish, Birds, and Many More
Draw 50 Animals is a step-by-step, easy-to-use drawing book by Lee J. Ames that will help kids and adults alike develop their technical drawing skills and build a repertoire of an animal subject.
You’ll learn how to:
- 50 Animals
- Draw 50 Birds Draw
- 50 Baby Animals Draw
- 50 Cats Draw
- 50 Dogs
8. Keys to Drawing
With his book Keys to drawing, Bert Dodson gives you the fifty-five “keys” of drawing fundamentals. Even if you’re a beginner you’ll learn how to render any subject with ease.
These useful keys will help you learn how to think when you draw, along with practical exercises, will help you draw like a skilled artist.
“Anyone who can hold a pencil can learn to draw.” Bert Dodson
You’ll learn how to:
- Restore, focus, map, and intensify
- Free your hand action, then learn to control it
- Convey the illusions of light, depth, and texture
- Stimulate your imagination through “creative play”
“One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.”
Another effective and convenient way to learn drawing is by online courses, and video tutorials.
- Video tutorials will give you a walk-through and faster understanding.
- Books, on the other hand, will give you a solid knowledge, the base upon which you can build something at your own pace.
Use those two methods combined can give you better results.
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Wich one of these books you’ll read at first? Share your experience with us!
Here are some drawings I have done using the techniques learned from the books above!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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